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May dreaming of World Cup place

Published 07/07/2015

Jonny May received the last of his 13 England caps against Italy earlier this year
Jonny May received the last of his 13 England caps against Italy earlier this year

Jonny May has imagined the feeling of walking out at Twickenham for England during the World Cup but the Gloucester wing knows there are still plenty of hard yards to put in before the dream becomes a potential reality.

The 25-year-old is part of the 50-man training squad which is being put through its paces and will travel to Denver this weekend for altitude training and inter-squad matches.

Before the camp heads for the United States, however, the squad will be reduced to 45 players on Friday morning, with a further 14 names to be trimmed by coach Stuart Lancaster in the coming weeks.

May is desperate to be in the final 31-man squad and is driven by the prospect of pulling on the Red Rose in front of an expectant Twickenham.

He believes a partisan crowd could play an important role in England going all the way on home soil.

"It would be incredible. We've spoken about the power of the nation getting behind us and giving us an extra 10 per cent out on the pitch," he told Press Association Sport.

"With everybody watching us and being behind us, it gives us that huge responsibility which will put the pressure on us, but if we can use that in a positive way to go out there and give more, it's going to be great.

"I've got to draw my mind back into right now. It's a long way off now but to think about it now really stands the hairs up on the back of my neck.

"It would really be a dream. Being able to play at Twickenham in front of a home crowd with my family there in a World Cup, it doesn't get much bigger than that.

"So there really is everything to play for and train for because it's the ultimate goal. I've just got to keep going and try my best."

Not that May is taking a place in Lancaster's final squad for granted, however.

"For me, it's just taking one day at a time. There's a long, long way (to go)," he said.

"Obviously in the back of my head I'm desperately thinking about 'am I going to make the 31?' but I've got to push that away and just focus really hard on doing the best I can in every session.

"I think if I was to get into that final squad it would be my best achievement so far in rugby, but I think we're all desperate to get involved."

May revealed some of the fitness drills have been gruelling but is confident the training will be excellent preparation in the forthcoming months.

"The running sessions have been up there with the toughest I've done, they've been really tough," he said.

"The training that we've done will prepare us well, we've had some really tough fitness sessions but I'm sure it's going to be a step up in Denver.

"It'll be hot and at altitude and I think we're planning on introducing a little bit more rugby once we get out there, it's been very much strength and conditioning based so far, with a bit of skills."

May is simply delighted to be back in the England reckoning after being dropped from the squad following some high profile errors in the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year.

Exeter's Jack Nowell started England's final three matches, scoring three tries, but May is only focused on what he has to do to get back in the XV.

"It was coming," he said. "You can't get away with making mistakes at this level especially when the quality of the people competing for the shirt is so high.

"It was what it was, I was very disappointed and I've gone away and tried to work hard and tried to do my best to improve and come back stronger."

Rather than dwell on the disappointment, May, who received the last of his 13 caps against Italy, dusted himself off and finished the season in rather stellar fashion with Gloucester.

He played a starring role in the club's European Rugby Challenge Cup final win over Edinburgh among several other star turns.

"I was very disappointed to get dropped but the only choice I had was to feel sorry for myself or get back out there and fight for it and try and prove that I can do it, and that's what I did," he added.

"So I just went out there and tried to play as hard as I could and as well as I could, and I'm sure that I played my best rugby up to now ever really in the big games for Gloucester at the end of the year."

"So, I feel confident in myself. I've just got to prove that I am the man for the job."

:: Jonny May was speaking on behalf of O2 as it encourages England to get behind the England Rugby Team and #WearTheRose to demonstrate the power of support. For more on #WearTheRose and England Rugby, go to o2.co.uk/WearTheRose

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